Author: Shayna Rosenberg

2023-2024 Pogrund Family Essay And Judaic Artwork Winners

2023-2024 Pogrund Family Essay Winners

Bailey Berkman – 3rd Grade – JDBY
Chani Cruz – 3rd Grade – AK
Gitty Francis – 3rd Grade – JDBY
Menachem Mendel Gershon – 3rd Grade – CLHDS
DB Herbach – 3rd Grade – JDBY
Shira Lieberman – 3rd Grade – JDBY
Raizy Lifsics – 3rd Grade – JDBY
Bracha Leah Olevitch – 3rd Grade – JDBY
Raizy Rosenberg – 3rd Grade – JDBY
Tehila Roth – 3rd Grade – ACHDS
Toba Devorah Albin – 4th Grade – JDBY
Sammy Benson – 4th Grade – AK
Dovid Galster – 4th Grade – YOB
Refoel Gottesman – 4th Grade – YTT
Noa Scharman – 4th Grade – JDBY
Dina Chinn – 5th Grade – JDBY
Nina Cohen – 5th Grade – ACHDS
Elichai Engelson – 5th Grade – ACHDS
Dovid Kalman Gershon – 5th Grade – CLHDS
Yechezkel Boaz Gottesman – 5th Grade – YTT
Moshe Levitt – 5th Grade – ACHDS
Rachel Mandelbaum – 5th Grade – JDBY
Rachelli Mandelbaum – 5th Grade – JDBY
Sam Radutny – 5th Grade – AK
Baruch Rosenberg – 5th Grade – YOB
Felix Singer – 5th Grade – AK
Blumie Stern – 5th Grade – CLHDS
Abie Strulowitz – 5th Grade – YTT
Tovi Finkel – 6th Grade – ACHDS
Chaim Galster – 6th Grade – YOB
Stuart Goodman – 6th Grade – AK
Yosef Shalom Riesel – 6th Grade – YOB
Huvie Saks – 6th Grade – JDBY
Perel Twerski – 6th Grade – JDBY
Yitzchok Zev Atlas – 7th Grade – YTT
Rachelli Moskowitz – 7th Grade – JDBY
Ruchele Galster – 8th Grade – JDBY
Racheli Herzfeld – 8th Grade – JDBY
Sarala Strulowitz – 8th Grade – JDBY
Talia Rubin – 9th Grade – HSBY
Rivka Mandelbaum – 10th Grade – BYHSC

2023-2024 Pogrund Family Judaic Artwork Winners

Tzipora Rubel 3rd Grade – JDBY
Ariella Gavant – 4th Grade – HT
Sara Kahn – 4th Grade – HT
Elisheva Millen – 4th Grade – JDBY
Tzipora Rokach – 4th Grade – JDBY
Yehudis Varnai – 4th Grade – CLHDS
Chani Atlas – 5th Grade – JDBY
Devora Pam – 5th Grade – JDBY
Aaron Darlow – 6th Grade – HT
Aderet Engel – 6th Grade – HT
Nedivah Finegold – 6th Grade – HT
Eli Fox – 6th Grade – HT
Batsheva Fuerst – 6th Grade – JDBY
Mayer Goldberg – 6th Grade – ACHDS
Miriam Chaya Lieberman – 6th Grade – JDBY
Ahuva Bracha Perkel – 6th Grade – ACHDS
Yaffa Benjamin – 7th Grade – HT
Ayla Needle – 7th Grade – HT
Miriam Atlas – 8th Grade – JDBY
Eli Comrov – 8th Grade – HT
Binyamin Friedman – 8th Grade – HT
Elior Ginsberg – 8th Grade – HT
Avigail Goldberg – 8th Grade – ACHDS
Sophie Levin – 8th Grade – HT
Michal Levy – 8th Grade – HT
Jason Nankin – 8th Grade – HT
Jordan Rich – 8th Grade – HT
Rachel Leah Rokach – 8th Grade – JDBY
Ari Shyovitz – 8th Grade – HT
Menachem Steinberg – 8th Grade – HT
Yocheved Ehrlich – 9th Grade – BYHSC
Liba Greenspan – 9th Grade – BYHSC
Shayna Kolsky – 9th Grade – HSBY
Yakira Wittlin – 9th Grade – ICJA
Penina Benjamin – 10th Grade – ICJA
Rivka Miriam Mishkin – 10th Grade – HSBY
Shira Finkel – 11th Grade – HSBY
Avigail Joel – 11th Grade – BYHSC
Noa Gavant – 12th Grade – ICJA

2023 Mayefsky Lecture

Raising children in today’s world! Looking for guidance? Attend the ATT’s 37th Annual Rabbi Isaac Mayefsky Memorial Parenting Lecture on Motzei Shabbos, December 2, 2023, 8:00 pm at the ATT, ICJA Entrance, 8233 Central Park Avenue, Skokie featuring Rabbi Daniel Glatstein, a well-known speaker, author, researcher, and popular teacher with a global following. He will explore the topic Keeping Our Children Close in a Chaotic  World.
Admission is free.
For more information, call the ATT at 773-973-2828.

ATT Mechanchim Kollel

ATT is excited to announce a pilot program that started after Pesach. Over the last two summers, ATT ran a very successful summer Kollel with Rabbeim from the day school community. In an attempt to build from that program and its success, the ATT partnered with Rabbi Steinmetz, Rav of Kehillas Meor Yisrael in West Rogers Park, to create an afternoon Mechanchim (Educators) Kollel. There are 10 Rabbeim learning each weekday afternoon, Monday – Thursday, 4:00-6:00pm.

In addition several times a month, the Rabbeim attend required professional development (PD) sessions providing them with skills and information enabling them to grow in their profession. ATT Superintendent, Rabbi Avrohom S. Moller, is overseeing the PD courses offered.

ATT looks forward to introducing more programs like these to positively impact the educators of our community.

REACH Hosts Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) Tier 2

REACH hosts over 40 educators, therapists, and administrators gathered for a 3-day intensive Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) Tier 2 training hosted by REACH. Facilitated by Master Trainer Jordan Spikes of Think: Kids, this advanced concepts training course aims to further develop skills at all phases of the Collaborative Problem Solving® approach. It, additionally, enhances implementation in the real world.

Participants deepen their skills by learning strategies for using the approach in the most challenging situations using real-life examples from their experiences. Attendees, from across the spectrum of the Chicago Jewish community, engaged in meaningful learning and practice together.

2023 ATT Awards Presentation and Annual Meeting

The ATT thanks the community for its enthusiastic support of its 2023 Awards Presentation and Annual Meeting, An Evening with the Stars, held May 17th. Close to 300 people gathered together to honor ATT students as they received various awards and scholarships. Following the presentations the celebration continued with more photo ops of the awardees and delicious refreshments.

Big Breakthrough for ATT Schools and Title I Funding!

Due to the efforts of the ATT, and specifically those of Mrs. Chani Friedman in representing the Chicago Orthodox Community’s Day Schools, ATT is happy to announce that students who live in the Peterson Park area are now eligible to receive Title I services in their school!

What does this mean? Students who live in Peterson Park (Solomon School District) now generate Title I funds and are eligible to receive resource help across our schools.

Increase in Title I Funding — CPS (Chicago Public Schools) designates federal funds for use by private schools within public school districts. There are different types of federal funds, each with specific rules regarding the generation of funding for a private school. That means every student can potentially generate money for his/her school to use in arranging support services for students. Title I funding is specifically designated for students who need academic help in school. Previously, students in Peterson Park were not counted as students who generate Title I funds. Now, however, due to ATT’s persistent efforts and advocacy, over 500 additional elementary school students in our Jewish day schools are now eligible to be counted towards receiving these CPS funds. That means potentially hundreds of thousands of additional dollars becoming available to use by our schools!

Increased Eligibility — ATT has advocated on behalf of our students that everyone, regardless of where they live, should be eligible to receive resource help if they need it. Today, we are one step closer. Due to this breakthrough, hundreds of students who may have been struggling in school and yet were not able to receive services due to the fact they live in Peterson Park have now become eligible for services such as one-on-one Instruction, academic coaching, school counseling and more.

How did this happen? — Mrs. Chani Friedman, ATT’s Government Funding Liaison, is an expert on CPS rules and federal regulations. Mrs. Friedman realized that although non-attending private school students living in Peterson Park (Solomon School District) do not affect the overall poverty level which decides a public school district’s eligibility to receive Title 1 funding, these students can still tip the scales due to details in the mathematical poverty index formula. While others may have admitted defeat years ago, Mrs. Friedman continued to diligently provide Peterson Park student data to CPS in hopes of one day tipping the scale. That day finally happened last week as the numbers finally added up! This was a breakthrough for our students and schools and showed the power of unified advocacy on behalf of the community. Through Mrs. Friedman’s efforts in pooling the data of students across the Chicago Orthodox Jewish Day School system, ATT was finally able to tip the scale and achieve eligibility for students living in Peterson Park. The other Chicago school districts where ATT students live already have been recognized as Title I attendance areas due to ATT advocacy many years ago. This now completes the picture and will allow for added services for more students.

ATT has always been focused on maximizing the funds and services available for all of our schools and students! We thank Mrs. Friedman for her steadfast efforts for our day school community.

A Taste of Torah – Parshas Re’eh

Written by: Rabbi Avrohom S. Moller

It Isn’t Easy to Commit

When the Torah discusses the mitzvah of tzedakah-charity, the possuk says, “כי בגלל הדבר הזה” – as a result of this matter (your generosity) Hashem will bless you in all of your endeavors. Rashi quoting the Sifri notes the choice of the word “davar,” which literally means thing or matter, can also mean speech or word. Rashi therefore explains that one is rewarded not only for the charity he does but also for the words he said when he made the commitment. What is the importance of the words; don’t the actions speak much louder than the words?

We can understand this in one of three ways. Firstly, the Torah is teaching us the importance of inspiring others when we do a mitzvah. The Mishna in Avos (5:13) says that one who desires to give and that others should give as well is a chasid, a pious person. Our sages instruct us to publicize those who do a mitzvah in order to inspire others to follow suit. (See Yoma 31a.) This does not contradict the principle of being modest and humble in our service of Hashem if our public participation in a mitzvah is predicated on the intent to get others to join and not for self- aggrandizement.

A second explanation is that making a commitment raises the level of difficulty in doing the mitzvah.  Once a pledge is made, we’ve obligated ourselves to do something and that is uncomfortable. Our sages teach us that one who does things because they are obligated gets more reward than one who does things voluntarily beyond what is required of them. This may seem counterintuitive, but it is an important insight into our humanity. We like to be heroes; we don’t like to pay bills. Once we make a commitment, it is harder to stick to it and fulfill what we said.

A third explanation is that when we make a public commitment, we are avoiding the pitfall of cynicism. Often, when people are asked to participate in a worthy cause, they have many reasons to say no. It could be lack of trust of the leadership, non-belief that effort will be successful, feeling that we have a better plan, etc. We are wonderful “armchair quarterbacks” when it comes to communal issues. When we commit to a communal cause, we are avoiding that bad behavior and resisting the cynical response that robs us of communal initiative.

All three of these lessons are helpful when we speak to our children about getting involved. We should do mitzvos with the hope that others will join us. We should make commitments because we become obligated by them, and we should value being part of worthwhile communal endeavors.

A Taste of Torah – Parshas Eikev

Written by: Rabbi Mordechai Raizman

Leadership at Its Best

In this week’s Torah portion Ekev, G-d tells Moshe to relay the following message to the Jewish people. “What does G-d ask of you but to fear Him?” The Talmud analyzes this statement and makes the following observation. In using the term what, it implies that the matter is quite simple. With that, the Talmud wonders is fear of G-d a small and trivial thing? To truly have an awe of G-d in one’s everyday life is the work of a lifetime. Therefore, how can it be phrased in such a manner that makes it seem like it is an easy thing to attain?

The Talmud goes on to answer that yes, for Moshe, to have an awe of G-d is a small thing. However, we are now left wondering how this answers the question asked above. G-d commanded Moshe to relay this message to the Jewish people. This wasn’t a command to Moshe alone. Yes, it may be easy for him, but it is certainly not easy for the rest of Bnei Yisroel.

There is a great lesson in leadership to be learned from this. A leader leads by example. If a leader exemplifies and demonstrates a characteristic trait to the masses and makes it look easily attainable, the masses will follow his lead. It is true, on our own, to attain the level of fear and awe of G-d may be an arduous task. However, now, that we, the Jewish  people, experienced Moshe’s leadership, we realize that to relate to G-d, fear G-d and to live an inspired life of observing Torah and mitzvos is attainable.

Having a role model from which to learn is a great lesson for all of us as parents, educators, lay leaders, etc. We all need to have special individuals in our lives that enable us to strive for more than we could have imagined in our own spiritual growth. We must then, in turn, try to become role models for the next generation.

A Taste of Torah – Parshas Vaeschanan

Written by: Rabbi Avrohom S. Moller

  נַחֲמוּ נַחֲמוּ עַמִּי יֹאמַר אֱלֹהֵיכֶם

This week’s haftarah, the first of seven which comfort us after Tisha B’Av, opens with the sentence, “Be comforted, be comforted, oh my nation. Speak to the heart of Yerushalayim and call to her (encourage her) since she was punished doubly for her sins.” The Midrash (Eicha ch. 1) notes that Yerusahalayim is consoled doubly to compensate for her being punished doubly.

What is the meaning of a double consolation?  Rav Chayim Shmuelevitz ZT’L (Rosh Yeshiva in Mir, Poland and Yerushalayim, 1902-1979) explains that once the redemption comes, we will be able to understand that the redemption was actually staged in the very worst of times. The seeds of redemption are sown when we are at our lowest ebb. This is the meaning of the well-known Gemara that teaches that Mashiach was born at the time of the destruction.

Reb Chaim also quotes the Gemara at the end of Makkos which related an incident in which Rabbi Akiva and his colleagues passed the ruins of the Bais HaMikdash and saw a fox exiting the place where the holy of holies had stood. Rabbi Akiva’s friends began to weep in response to the terrible desolation and desecration they were witnessing. However, Rabbi Akiva was smiling. When he was asked for an explanation, he said that the same prophet who said that Zion would be ploughed over because of our sins, also said that old hoary men and women each one holding his/her staff will yet again sit in the streets of Yershalayim. Now that we witnessed the fulfillment of the first part of this prophecy, we can surely anticipate the second part. How did this answer assuage the pain of the destruction?

Rav Chaim explains that the reconstructed Bais HaMikdash and the restoration of our people to our land is going to be on a much higher level of existence than we had in the past. The staffs held by the old people described in the prophecy symbolize abilities that far surpass what old people can do today. The destruction paved the way for this new existence and that is part of the consolation for our people. While the pain for our people is very real and justified, it is still mitigated with the knowledge that it isn’t for naught, it is purposeful and it lays the foundation for a brighter future.

The Jewish people have always overcome today’s adversity with the belief that tomorrow will be better. That isn’t enough. We must not only have faith in Hashem that he is just and kind. We must also have trust in his judgement. We must believe that he is always creating a brighter future with today’s events. We will be able to fully understand this at the time of redemption when the world will reach a perfect state and we will have the double consolation of being redeemed and knowing that our troubles were actually for our own good.